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05 May 2020

RPC Singapore joint venture hires trio of partners from Bird & Bird

Appointments help bolster firm's disputes team after mass-defection to Drew & Napier last year

By Ben Edwards

Singapore skyline

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RPC has hired three Bird & Bird partners as the firm continues rebuilding its Singapore joint venture’s disputes practice after losing a number of lawyers to local rivals Drew & Napier last year.

Boey Swee Siang, Navin Joseph Lobo and Lin Yuankai will lead a team of eight lawyers in RPC Premier Law’s disputes, regulatory compliance and investigations practice, helping expand its numbers again after nine disputes lawyers left for Drew & Napier last July, including former dispute resolution head Siraj Omar.  

Antony Sassi, RPC Asia managing partner, said: “We have been working on bringing the right high-quality type of people in for some time, and therefore are very excited that this market-leading team led by Swee Siang, Navin and Yuankai are joining us. Our regional and global strategy has been to expand our client-centred commercial referrals offering and increase our cross-border litigation and arbitration work. This high calibre team will no doubt add further firepower to servicing our clients in the local Singapore market, in Asia and globally.”

Boey brings with him 25 years of legal dispute resolution experience, having led Bird & Bird’s Singapore disputes practice for the past decade. Commercial disputes partner Lobo also spent 10 years at Bird & Bird, having joined as a senior associate from Eversheds Harry Elias back in 2009. Lin, who was the first of the trio to join RPC Premier Law back in February, spent seven years at Bird & Bird before his move to RPC, most recently as counsel. He was previously an associate at Drew & Napier.

Tom Hibbert, global head of commercial disputes, said: “We have seen an increased client demand for multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary dispute litigation work. The new hires will meet that demand and play an important role in further building our commercial referrals offering in Singapore as well as support clients on global litigation and arbitration work.”

The trio are also joined by former Bird & Bird senior associates Vani Nair and Selina Toh, and associates Shaun Oon, Cheng Liqi and Yap Chun Kai.

Boey said: “RPC’s strong disputes reputation made it a natural home for our team. I was particularly drawn to the firm’s genuine commitment to collegiality, collaboration and the highest level of client service; I can't wait to get started.”

Further reading

Asia round-up: Withers grows arbitration in Hong Kong while Ashurst targets Singapore funds work — King & Wood Mallesons and Latham & Watkins also add to the roster of Asia lateral moves with M&A hires

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